Gabi (short for Gabriela) is a 52-year-old woman who is suffering from cancer. She has been receiving treatment at Fleming Hospital in the city of La Plata, Argentina, for two months.
As a precaution during the pandemic, the hospital doesn’t allow patients to receive visits, but Gabi’s friends weren’t happy with not being able to accompany her during these difficult times. So they brainstormed and found a clever way to show her their support.
“How could we not come?”
Their love sharpened their wits: Since they couldn’t enter the building, they came up with the idea of renting a scissor lift so they could see her through the window. They moved the lift in front of the building, climbed onto the platform, and raised it up to the level of the top floor of the building, where they could see across part of a roof to Gabi’s window, nearly hidden behind air conditioning units.
The moment was recorded on cell phones from various perspectives. In a video one of the friends took, you can hear the enthusiastic overlapping greetings of the 12 friends: “How could we not come? We’re here. I knew we’d be able to see you! We’re here, I can’t believe it. They can’t stop us, Gabi!” The women in the group burst into shouts of joy at the sight of their friend leaning out the window.
You don’t need to understand Spanish to get the gist of their shouts, smiles and gestures, as seen in the video:
On the scissor lift platform, the friends brought a large handmade banner and balloons, to create a festive atmosphere for the patient. They shout and wave their arms in the air to convey their love and affection for Gabi, making up with their enthusiasm what is lacking in physical proximity.
According to the newspaper El Día of La Plata, Gabriela and her 12 friends are members of a running group. Since Gabriela was admitted, they had been in contact with her through video calls, but were convinced that their physical presence would be better for their sick friend. “We contacted her through Zoom, but sometimes it’s not the same, and we thought of visiting her this way,” said one of them.
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“It’s a way of honoring a friendship”
“It is a mixture of sensations, because it’s not a party or anything like it, but a way of honoring a friendship of many years,” the friend explained. “She got sick and is at Fleming. With the anxiety and isolation it becomes difficult to support the situation. So we thought we’d visit her like this yesterday. She’s fighting [the cancer] and she’s a great fighter. She’s going to pull through.”
Gabi was grateful for the gesture, as far as they could tell, and her family is happy to see the affection of her friends. “We could’ve called her, but we wanted to do something to honor the friendship we share. The idea was to create something nice and do something that could transcend [the situation], and make a difference in a good way.”
They achieved their goal! The proof is in the video that immortalizes the moment and has gone viral on social networks.
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